Stocks gain on hopes for Obama plan

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The stock market rallied broadly Wednesday as investors pinned their hopes on the economic stimulus plan that President Obama is expected to unveil tomorrow night.

The Dow Jones industrial average soared more than 275 points and yields on Treasury bonds rose amid anticipation about the president’s plan to extend payroll tax relief for American workers.

Investor sentiment also was helped by a favorable court ruling in Germany that paves the way for the bellwether European nation to participate in financial bailouts of weaker euro-zone members. Stocks rose more than 4% in Germany and Italy, and more than 3% in France and Great Britain.

The Dow ended a three-day losing streak by climbing 275.56 points, or 2.5%, to 11,414.86. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 33.38 points, or 2.9%, to 1,198.62.


Investors exited relative havens such as gold and Treasury bonds. Gold suffered its biggest hit in two weeks, falling $52.80 to $1,820.50. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note jumped back above 2%, rising to 2.04% from 1.99%.


U.S. global economic competitiveness trails Sweden, Finland

Employees satisfied with co-workers, unhappy with benefits

Stocks trim losses but still finish down

-- Walter Hamilton